The 19th-annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Peterborough has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, St. Patrick’s Day event committee chairman Tim Burke stated it was “an incredible hard thing” to announce but cancellation was necessary. The parade down George Street is a major event hosted with the Peterborough Canadian Irish Club

The day was also supposed to include an Irish flag raising at Peterborough city hall prior to a 5-km run and a 2 p.m. parade along George St.

“In the sake of our great (city’s) best interest (and) the safety of all of us … this year’s parade is cancelled,” the post reads.

“I want to thank all of the wonder(ful) people and businesses that once again came forward to help all of us celebrate our wonderful Irish heritage.”

Just a few days ago Burke appeared live on Global News Morning Peterborough promoting the parade which he said would feature 70 floats and many descendants of Irish settlers who arrived to the region. Weather dependent, some years the parade has attracted up to 10,000 spectators, he said.

“Please remember … next year will mark the 20th year of this parade… we will make it the best one ever,” Burke wrote.

The Peterborough Canadian Irish Club also cancelled its St. Patrick’s Day celebration breakfast that was scheduled Saturday at the St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Douro, just east of the city.

Earlier this week, larger centres such as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York and Dublin and others cancelled their St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities.

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